Amazing Places

Kaindy Lake Is A Ghostly Underwater Forest

You've seen forests, and you've seen lakes. But when you see one inside the other, things start to feel pretty eerie. That's the essence of Kaindy Lake. A landslide a century ago created the lake atop a spruce forest—and led to some very weird scenery.

Trees Shade the Depths

In 1911, an earthquake ripped through the Tian Shan Mountains, causing a large landslide that blocked a gorge and formed a sort of natural dam. Over the course of time, rainfall filled the area, submerging the forest of spruce trees and forming the 1,300-foot Kaindy Lake. Today, the spruce trees are dead, their roots drowned deep beneath the water's surface, but their top halves tower over the water's surface in an even speckling that looks a bit like ghostly ships' masts or giant spears. The eeriness is made all the more palpable when a light fog is cast over the water, or when the lake is frozen over in the dead of winter, where the trees have transitioned from navigational beacons to something for fishermen to lean on.

Just Cold Enough

The most striking thing about the forest is underwater, where the trunks resist decomposition and needles remain on their branches even after all this time. That's thanks to the lake's temperature, which rarely exceeds 43ºF (6º C) even in summer. Luckily, you needn't take a dip to catch a glimpse of this marvel, since the water is so clear that you can see far down into its depths.

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Written By Curiosity Staff June 6, 2017